22 July, 2009
20 July, 2009
Pattern 1 Enchanted
6.25x4" watercolour & markers on primed pamphlet
One of my favourite sketching exercises is to make two or three bold lines…which I think of as vectors…and make my characters and objects fit into them. For this little painted book, I decided to use watercolours on the primed pages, filling my large shapes with colour. Using various markers, I used patterns to create texture and shading.
Filling in certain areas with unlikely patterns, such as the scales on the character’s body and the watery stripes in the sky, creates a sort of mysterious tension that I enjoy immensely. Often on my walks I am surprised this way; a leaf will be mottled like a rock, or a tree trunk will be scarred with dots and dashes. These unusual patterns make me pause and look again, enchanted.
01 July, 2009
PageScape VII Playing
8.25x5" Prisma Colour pencils on hardcover novel
Themes and messages in art are always a controversial subject among artists. The artists who paint what appeals to them often have their work labelled as ‘just pretty paintings.’ The artists whose main work is fraught with poetry and meaning often just want to paint a pretty picture, and not have to explain it. Meaning can be painted into a picture, or an originally simple painting can take on great significance later. The actual methodology happens somewhere in between. An artist should (probably, some of the time…but I confess I usually don’t) have something in mind when beginning a work, but it’s a good idea to leave room for change, random ideas and visionary moments that may plop down in the middle of the canvas unexpectedly. As much as we like to feel we are controlling things, inspiration is a pretty wild ride. Good pictures can be ruined. Bad pictures can become masterpieces.
My own method involves playfulness. ‘Let me not take myself too seriously,’ I admonish the air, as I reach into the coloured pencils and grab three colours at random. Hmmm. Not my usual colours, that’s for sure. But wait! I’m drawing in a recycled hardcover novel with black primed pages. Definitely nothing serious going on here. I make some shapes and colour them.